eRepublik bills itself as the "first massive online social strategy game" and what it is is best thought of as the result of a drunken night between Facebook, World of Warcraft, Risk, and a college economics class. Players are citizens of a country, where they can vote in elections, work at companies, buy products, starve if they don't eat food, write newspaper articles, move to other countries (but not vote unless they gain citizenship), and fight in battles.
The Facebook aspect comes in as citizens can post "shouts" (in 140 characters or less) and declare other citizens "friends".
The World of Warcraft aspect comes from the way users level up different skills, such as Strength (which relates to how much damage you do at war) and something job related (e.g. Manufacturing relates to how effectively you can turn raw materials into manufactured goods).
The Risk part comes in with the absurdly complex war fighting component. Countries are made of regions, and countries that share a border can invade each other. That process is the simple part. The president of a country (elected by majority vote among candidates picked by the party presidents of the 5 largest political parties by membership) declares a war, which must be approved by the congress (also elected, but on a per-region basis with a certain number of wild cards). Once approved, the president can attack a region of the country he declared war on, and the battle is fought individually by citizens with each citizen doing damage. (Wait, that's not simple at all!) And this doesn't get into the even more complex issues involving resistance wars, mutual protection pacts, or initiative.
The college economics class aspect comes from the even more complex economic system where people work at player owned companies to create goods. Inflation, income taxes, VAT, import duties, trade embargoes, natural resources, and currency exchange rates all play a part. Add to that the fact that money is constantly being removed from circulation to pay for various in-game bonuses, and things get even more complex.
But don't let that scare you off! Plenty of players get by just doing next to nothing (these are called "two-clickers"). Thus, you can actually spend a lot of your time just lolly-gagging around and hanging out, with no Munchkining necessary. Or fluctuate wildly between the two extremes.
This game provides examples of:
- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: When the hospitals were changed to not heal more wellness than was lost in battle, the prices of wellness items shot through the roof. Also, the world market tends to run out of guns during important battles.
- After-Action Report: be it election, battle, or just about anything, there will be newspaper articles about it.
- A God Am I: Dio Brando, Dio Maksas and Dio Akira, and averted by Michael Lewis who continually denied it.
- Bob Boblo is worshipped as the deity of the Spamican church in the UK, as well as Singapore and Australia to a lesser extent.
- All Nations Are Superpowers: Or at least have the potential to be. If a country can get a baby boom they could be the most powerful country in the game. When you think of global superpowers in the real world, you wouldn't think of Pakistan, Sweden, Hungary, Romania, Poland or Indonesia. Anything is really possible.
- America Takes Over the World: In the early days of the game, the US was really bad in this regard. It attacked Russia, Canada, Portugal, France and Mexico, but failed in each invasion. They grew out of it though. It is one of the most commonly used arguments against America and her allies, usually fueled by real life ideas of the world. Really not credible though since dozens of countries have tried to take over the world (Romania, Indonesia, Hungary), something the US has yet to do. As the game is dominated by two alliances, the USA is seen from hugely polar perspectives.
- An Entrepreneur Is You: All items are made by players at player-owned companies from resources created at different player-owned companies (which may in turn be part of the same or different player-operated organization).
- Anti Poop-Socking: Most aspects of the game can only be done once per day. Once you drain the "Wellness" stat, the only things you can do are heal it up (which is expensive), or start yakking with other players (which is more profitable in the long run). Recently averted, when the recovery system was changed so it could allow for many more wellness recovery in less time, provided you have already drained all the wellness you can drain.
- Artistic License Economics: Too many examples by both players and admins to list.
- Artistic License Geography: The admins have to periodically go in and fix borders during war after one country finds out that two regions, e.g. Kansas and Nebraska, don't share a border for some reason. Occasionally one region will border a second, but the second won't border the first.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Higher military ranks deal higher damage.
- But rank means nothing, you don't have authority.
- Balance of Power: The entire game
- Berserk Button: One day, Big Name Fan and great American troll Emerik decided to create an article in Serbia about the glorious independent country that is Kosovo. The ensuing backlash crashed computers, because they could not handle all the 1,000 pissed off Serbian comments proclaiming "Kosovo is Serbia!" A lot of non-Serbian players just mention Kosovo to troll now, and it always provokes a reaction.
- 'Kosovo is Serbia' is a pretty popular meme in eRepublik. Whether it instead be 'Serbia is Kosovo', 'Serbia is Emerik', 'Kosovo is Independent', etc, etc.
- Serbia have recently been replaced by Poland as the chief trolling target after the latter's baby boom filled it with innocent newbies.
- Blue Blood: Found in Denmark and the United Kingdom.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: You can buy in-game currency with real-life money. Some people do this quite a lot.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: the usual result of any war between a country with lots of population against a barely populated one (unless the latter has a good set of alliances). No contest for trying to guess which one is the winner.
- Death by Racism: Averted. Many countries, especially in Eastern Europe and the Balkans thrive on it. Played straight with the goons, who got banned en masse for using the term "Atajerk".
- Death Is Not Permanent: If you don't eat food every day (or have a good enough house) you lose wellness until you are "dead" but you get revived if you log back in... unless you get Killed Off for Real by getting permanently banned for some reason. Like operating more than one player account.
- Diminishing Returns for Balance: Skill is like this. While it takes increasing amounts of time to reach the higher skill levels, a level 10 worker only produces about three times as much as a level 1 worker.
- Enemy Mine: When the eUSA tried to pass forcibly through the Kyushu region of eJapan to eChina, the eJapanese president took a firm stand against them, in light of the time eJapan let eIndonesia through Kyushu to invade the eUSA. PHOENIX, who had a pretty big interest in keeping the eUSA out of eChina, aided the neutral nation in its defense. This awkward alliance lasted a few days, until the president of eJapan decided to let the eUSA through after all, effectively initiating World War IV.
- "Rashomon"-Style: Every faction involved has its own mutually-exclusive theory on what exactly went on then, and they are sticking to it.
- Fun with Acronyms: Between the Erepublik Defence & Economy Network and People of Earth Associated under Common Excellence: Global Community, it used to be easier to name the alliances that weren't crazy acronyms. ALAs, for all Ententes and Phoenixes, we can say Sol long to that era.
- Genre-Busting: The game can best be described as massivley multiplayer online strategy game meets government simulation game meets social networking site.
- Gratuitous English: Most e-countries communicate in their own real language. International dialogue is usually in Gratuitous English, often delivered by "Blind Idiot" Translation. Some e-countries, however, are mostly inhabited by non-natives (e.g. eJapan and eNorth Korea are mostly native English speakers, and Chinese in the latter).
- Guide Dang It!: So complex, they implemented a feature letting players explain the game to each other.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: The "Brolliance" between the USA and Canada is formalized by a (legally-binding in-game) treaty has article 3 which states "Both countries agree to never give up on each other, never let each other down, and never run around or desert one another."
- I Have Many Names: Through the powers of Alt-itis one player went by: This Gen Media to start with, later returning as Franco, then Harrison Richardson (probably mostly because he could then name his newspaper the Harry Dick Times). He also claimed that he had countless accounts to two-click as well as to use in the off chance he was hit with the Ban Hammer.
- Him being HR was quite a shock for most of the eUS populace, mostly because Franco had previously wrecked our shit, in the form of redirecting the eUS forum to Chinese YouTube porn, and draining the entire eUS treasury, claiming everyone got stuck in Serious Business mode. And then he turned around and led the eUS to victory (as HR), and people loved him again. He was one hell of an attention whore, too.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: And some of them are real characters.
- Metagame: Yeah... you're gonna wanna join IRC, and the off-site forum for your country, and for your political party, and for your country's military, and that's just the start.
- There have been less-than-scrupulous players that have won battles by initiating DDOS attacks when their sides have the upper hand. Yuck.
- In-game alliance does not reflect what the actual alliances are. Training wars are conducted when real wars don't happen. Territories don't always belong to who they actually belong to: stronger countries sometimes hold territories for weaker countries so that the latter can start up a resistance and be guaranteed a win if the country proper is in a real tight spot.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Pretty much every players reaction to what their country does.
- Player Versus Player: Pretty much the entire game.
- Private Military Contractors: The military of certain countries (notably Poland) are based around this, can create problems due to their independence (like take over Peru).
- Ridiculous Future Inflation: In roughly four hundred days of the New World the exchange rate between LTL (Lithuanian currency) and gold has risen from 50 LTL for one gold to over 500 LTL for one gold.
- And any currency exchange is with three digit precision, so 500 of a currency to 1 gold equals 0.002 gold to 1 of a currency, and once the exchange rate reaches 1000 to 1 (1 to 0.001) it has nowhere to go.
- Serious Business: The president of Hungary's tendency to stay up to all hours of the night refreshing the page in case one of the other presidents screws up is legendary.
- There are two camps in eRepublik. Those who realize this is a game to have fun, and those who want to create their own small online societies with laws outside the game, courts, procedures, protocol, constitutions, etc. It gets rather ridiculous. In eCanada, for example, a number of people have filed libel cases against each other to the Supreme Court. Mind you, NONE of this is in game, it is all purely constructed by the players.
- Socialization Bonus: More a requirement. Some time ago, all companies need at least 10 people working at them to be at peak efficiency; however, after a Brazilian player was caught red-handed using more than a thousand multi-accounts on his company, the amount of workers at any given company was capped to 5. Played straight with the "Society Builder" achievement, which yields 5 gold every time 10 people you got into the game hit level 10.
- The Alliance: Each side likes to think this is what they are.
- Victory Is Boring: Somewhat. True, the initial thrill of conquering another country and having an empire is great, and protecting it against resistance wars and counter attacks can be entertaining, but sooner or later a country will run out of moves to make on the map, and since War Is Glorious and makes the world go around in eRepublik, citizens in a country get really bored.
- War Is Glorious: War has no side effects apart from wounded citizens, who can then eat some food to get better. (They used to be able to heal at the local hospital, until the hospital rules were changed.) This results in countries going to war just for the training.
- World War Whatever: Wars I-IV have already happened (no relation to historical World Wars), currently World War V is happening.